Otzma Yehudit MK: Israel's 'occupation' of West Bank is permanent for now

A former IDF brigadier general, Fogel is a member of the party established by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and is a strong supporter of Jewish control over Judea and Samaria.

 People overlook the Jewish settlement of Kokhav Hashahar, in the West Bank during a scouting mission to find new hilltops to settle, November 6, 2022. (photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)
People overlook the Jewish settlement of Kokhav Hashahar, in the West Bank during a scouting mission to find new hilltops to settle, November 6, 2022.
(photo credit: RONEN ZVULUN/REUTERS)

Israel's "occupation" of the West Bank is "permanent" amid hopes to establish sovereignty over as much territory as soon as possible, Otzma Yehudit MK Zvika Fogel said on Sunday. 

A former IDF brigadier general, Fogel is a member of the party established by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and is a strong supporter of Jewish control over Judea and Samaria as well as an opponent to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.  

"As of this moment - the occupation is permanent. I want to continue to exercise sovereignty over all those territories where I can exercise sovereignty," said Fogel. "I understand the right that Israel has which is to stop surrendering to different kinds of people that never existed and suddenly popped up." 

 New MK Zvika Fogel arrives to the Israeli parliament, for the opening session of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on November 15, 2022.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) New MK Zvika Fogel arrives to the Israeli parliament, for the opening session of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on November 15, 2022. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

Fogel was referring to a longstanding claim by Israel's Right that the Palestinians are a made-up people and therefore do not deserve independence. 

This is not the first time Fogel has made controversial statements. In an interview last month with the British Channel 4, Fogel said that the IDF was too merciful in its operations against Palestinian terrorist groups. 

"Anyone who wants to harm me, I will harm him back and as far as I am concerned, the concept of proportionality needs to stop to exist," Fogel said at the time. "I will tell you something that is unpleasant: if it is a choice between one Israeli mother crying, or a thousand Palestinian mothers crying, then a thousand Palestinian mothers will cry.” 

In the interview on Sunday, Fogel also voiced opposition to appointing Hadash-Taal MK Ahmad Tibi as a deputy Knesset speaker, a role he has held consecutively since 2006. 

Calling the MK a supporter of terrorism and the deputy of former PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, Fogel said: "there is no way that my hand will contribute to his appointment to such a senior position. If it was dependent on me, he would not serve in the Knesset."